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Summary

  1. Members debated the final stages of eight bills, including the Fisheries Bill and the Licensing Bill.
  2. The culture minister made two statements, on sign language legislation, and Ulster-Scots and Irish language academies.
  3. The regional development and social development ministers and the Assembly Commission took part in Question Time.

Live Reporting

By Robin Sheeran and Brooke Allen

All times stated are UK

Good night

Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin adjourns the assembly for the final time in this mandate.

Join us tomorrow morning at 10am for a final day of committees, starting with the Education Committee.

'Nothing noble or brave'

The DUP's Alastair Ross says "there is nothing noble or brave about skulking around in the shadows and bringing death and destruction to communities that just want to get on with their lives".

Sinn Féin's Raymond McCartney says that those who carried out the attack on Mr Ismay "have no mandate, and have little or no support".

The SDLP's Fearghal McKinney says "we stand together as democrats against such terror".

Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy says the lives of Mr Ismay's family "have been changed utterly and forever", and he condemns the reported celebration of the prison officer's death by dissident republican prisoners.

Stewart Dickson of Alliance says those who carried out the attack on Mr Ismay are "vile and pathetic people".

Death of Prison Officer Adrian Ismay

Adrian Ismay
Ismay family

Justice Minister David Ford is making a statement on the death in service of prison officer Adrian Ismay

Mr Ismay was seriously hurt after a booby-trap device exploded under his van in Belfast on 4 March. 

Mr Ford offers his sympathy to the prison officer's family, and pays tribute to Mr Ismay's dedication to the job.

"A remarkable example of his dedication to the prison service was shown when he attended a passing-out ceremony for new recruits last Friday - just one week after he had been attacked," the minister says. 

"Those behind this callous attack once again showed an utter disregard for human life," Mr Ford says, "not only for someone who served the community but also his family and others living in the area".

The minister calls for anyone with information to contact the police, and says "this assembly and the justice family stand side-by-side together, united in our sympathy for Adrian's family and in solidarity against those who want to drag this community back".

'The drive of a back bencher to overcome obstacles"

Independent Unionist John McCallister says this bill shows "the drive of a backbencher to overcome obstacles". 

In conclusion, an emotional Mrs Cochrane says, while she would have liked the bill to have gone further, "time was not on her side". 

The bill passes on an oral vote. 

'A new type of liquor bill'

Judith Cochrane
BBC

Mrs Cochrane says the hospitality industry has "seen considerable change in consumer behaviour and demand". 

She says this licensing bill will "create a new type of liquor bill, specifically for our three major outdoor stadia" and will allow alcohol to be sold in a "controlled but family-friendly member". 

The DUP's Paula Bradley, the SDLP's Dolores Kelly and Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs all support the bill. 

The DUP's Alastair Ross commends Ms Cochrane on the bill and says the Ulster Rugby supporters will be happy and Ms Cochrane been "standing up for the Ulstermen". 

Final Stage: Licensing Bill

MLAs are debating the Licensing Bill which has reached its final stage.

The bill is a private members bill tabled by the Alliance Party’s Judith Cochrane.

The bill would mean outdoor stadia would be able to apply for permanent licences in order to sell alcohol. Currently stadium operators have to apply for temporary licences.

The assembly divides

The speaker calls a division but the motion passes on an oral vote. 

Motion: Draft Renewables Obligation Closure Order (Northern Ireland) 2016.

Jonathan Bell
BBC

Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell is calling on MLAs to approve the Draft Renewables Obligation Closure Order (Northern Ireland) 2016. 

Mr Bell says the provisions, if passed, "will allow the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to make regulations restricting the tradeability of certain Northern Ireland ROCs, meaning that GB suppliers cannot use them to meet their renewables obligation". 

Land Acquisition and Compensation (Amendment) Bill

Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen opens the final stage debate on the Land Acquisition and Compensation (Amendment) Bill.

She explains that the aim of the bill is to ensure that landowners whose property is compulsorily purchased are treated equally to their counterparts in England and Wales.

The DUP's Trevor Clarke says that "an additional 6% for people who are losing land is a favourable position".

Seán Lynch of Sinn Féin says the bill "is to be welcomed".

The minister sums up, and the bill is passed by oral vote.

Watch again: Stormont Today

Missed last night's Stormont Today? Watch again here.

Mark Carruthers
BBC

Final Stage: Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill

The final stage of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill is being discussed. 

The bill, at earlier stages, has been amended to include measures on, e-cigarettes, smoking in cars and sugar-sweetened drinks.

Health Minister Simon Hamilton says "we now have a tighter piece of legislation" and Ms McLaughlin says the bill has been "significantly altered for the better".

Ulster Unionist Jo-Anne Dobson welcomes the bill and says the assembly "must continue to take a hands-on attitude to tackle smoking".

The bill passes on an oral vote. 

Dissidents 'celebrated Adrian Ismay's death'

BBC Northern Ireland's Home Affairs Correspondent tweets

Final Stage: Health and Personal Social Services (Amendment) Bill

The Health and Personal Social Services (Amendment) Bill has also reached its final stage and is being discussed by MLAs. 

The bill aims to update regulation of the social care sector.  

Health Minister Simon Hamilton says the current model, put in place in 2003, "restricted the Care Council in terms of the sanctions available for misconduct". 

He says this bill will modernise the existing model of the code of conduct used by the Social Care Council . 

Health Committee Chairwoman Maeve McLaughlin says no amendments were tabled to any of the clauses by the committee or the department. 

The UUP's Jo-Anne Dobson and Alliance Party's Kieran McCarthy support the bill. 

The bill passes on an oral vote. 

Mental Capacity Bill passes

The bill passes on an oral vote.

Mental Capacity Bill

Simon Hamilton
BBC

Health Minister Simon Hamilton moves the final stage of the Mental Capacity Bill.

He says the bill springs from the recommendations of the Bamford Review and "it's fair to say the bill had a rather long journey to this chamber".

The review was completed in 2007.

Mr Hamilton says the bill is primarily aimed at "reducing the stigma felt by many people still suffering from mental disorder".

Alastair Ross of the DUP, who chaired the ad-hoc committee on the bill, explains in detail its members' approach to the proposed legislation.

Houses in Multiple Occupation Bill

Houses
BBC

Social Development Minister Lord Morrow opens the debate on the final stage of the Houses in Multiple Occupation Bill.

He says it is "a significant and necessary piece of legislation", 

Lord Morrow explains that the bill will introduce a new definition of what is a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

It will introduce a mandatory licensing scheme and transfer responsibility for the regulation of HMOs to local councils.

Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey, who chairs the Social Development Committee, says he welcomes the bill.

The bill passes its final stage on an oral vote.

'A positive and noteworthy achievement'

Education Committee chairperson Peter Weir says "this is a very positive and noteworthy achievement for the house".

Sinn Féin's Chris Hazzard, Ulster Unionist Sandra Overend and the Alliance Party's Trevor Lunn also welcome the bill. 

Ms Overend says the bill will "ultimately try to reduce bullying" and ensure improvements can be made. 

Mr Lunn says the bill "formalises what most good schools would be doing anyway". 

The bill passes on an oral vote. 

Final Stage: Addressing Bullying in Schools Bill

John O'Dowd
BBC

MLAs are now discussing the final stage of the Addressing Bullying in Schools Bill. 

Education Minister John O'Dowd says "too many young people continue to struggle with this problem" and asks MLAs for their support, commending the bill to the house. 

"This bill was drafted to provide a clear and consistent framework for all schools to follow to ensure that all pupils are protecting to the same degree of high standards", he says. 

Final Stage: Fisheries Bill

Kilkeel harbour
BBC

MLAs are now discussing the final stage of the Fisheries Bill. 

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill says she is "pleased the bill has reached it's final stage and we have retained the key clause that will ensure that we avoid the threat of infraction". 

Agriculture Committee chairman William Irwin commends the bill to the house on behalf of the committee. 

The SDLP's Seán Rogers says that if he is elected in the new mandate, he "would look forward to engaging with fishermen and the fishing industry". 

"It may not be catch of the day but it's a good supper", he says.  

The bill passes on an oral vote.

Return to the debate on the Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan

Members return to debating the LCM on Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan) Bill. 

Ulster Unionist Andy Allen says his party "support progress". 

However, they "do not think this bill is perfect" and they tabled some amendments at Westminster. 

The TUV's Jim Allister says he concurs with the second part of the proposal and says "it is quite clear after the shenanigans this time last year, the Treasury thought it was, rightly so, time to reign in Stormont in regards to budgets". 

Junior Minister Emma Pengelly says she welcomes the support of the committee and we should all welcome the focus of "living within our means" which will create "additional transparency". 

The bill passes on an oral vote. 

Cameron's 'sadness' after prison officer dies

UK Prime Minister tweets

Thermals and string vests

Stormont Parliament Building
BBC

The DUP's David Hilditch asks about the installation of a much better-controlled heating system in Parliament Buildings- "as sometimes there is too much heat"

She says the recently completed roof projected controls the heating and has reduced reduced overall energy consumption by 30%.

She says that if Mr Hilditch "doesn't want to have to have to continue to wear his thermal vest in winter and his string vest in the summer, I'm sure if he speaks to relevant building control staff they will be able to assist".

Assembly Commission Questions

Members of the Assembly Commission answer questions on its work for the final time in the current mandate.

The benefit cap

Jim Allister
BBC

Jim Allister of the TUV asks the minister about the benefit cap.

Mr Allister wants confirmation that "there are at least 10 families that he is protecting their benefits at a level above £40,000 a year".

Lord Morrow says that "sometimes it's not a matter of what the minister is comfortable with, or what he's not".

He says it is a matter of what the regulations say must happen, and that he has no control over this.

Replacement of electrical heating

Pat Sheehan
BBC

Pat Sheehan of Sinn Féin asks if the Housing Executive (NIHE) is working to a timeframe to replace costly electrical heating with gas.

Lord Morrow says that "some people, in particular elderly people, do not want changes in their homes".

He confirms that NIHE does intend to replace the Economy 7 electrical heating in its housing.

Social Development Questions

Lord Morrow
BBC

Social Development Minister Lord Morrow is answering questions from MLAs.

Belfast Rapid Transit

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir
BBC

Sinn Féin's Máirtín Ó Muilleoir asks about congestion in south-east Belfast.

He suggests that the forthcoming Belfast Rapid Transit network could be extended "perhaps right from the city centre to Carryduff".

Miss McIlveen says she is "fully committed to Belfast Rapid Transit" and that work is underway to identify possible extensions to the north and south of the city.

She says that one route experiencing heavy traffic is from Cairnshill to the Ormeau Road.

"I would be very much in favour of that as a proposition," she says.

Question Time

Michelle McIlveen
BBC

Regional development minister Michelle McIlveen is taking questions from members.

Committee support was 'without prejudice'

Speaking as deputy chairman of the OFMDFM Committee, Mr Lyttle says the committee's support was "without prejudice" and they agreed to support the LCM to "extend certain provisions of the Northern Ireland Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan Bill to Northern Ireland". 

The DUP's Gordon Lyons says the LCM has his party's full support. 

Alex Attwood from the SDLP describes his party's concerns about the LCM. 

The debate will continue after Question Time. 

Irish foreign minister offers condolences

Irish Department of Foreign Affairs tweets

Deputy first minister: 'Dissident republicans will continue to fail'

Martin McGuinness
Pacemaker

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said those who had targeted the prison officer had failed to get support and will continue to fail. 

First minister 'devastated' by prison officer's death

Arlene Foster
BBC

First Minister Arlene Foster has said that she is "personally devastated" by news of the prison officer's death.  

Mrs Foster said she had been in contact with him in the aftermath of the attack.   

Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan) Bill

Emma Pengelly
BBC

On behalf of OFMDFM, Junior Minister Emma Pengelly is asking MLAs to support a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM). 

The LCM proposes that the Assembly agrees that the Westminster Parliament should consider the provisions of the Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan) Bill, as introduced in the House of Commons on 10 February 2016. 

The provisions deal with the power of the first minister and deputy first minister, acting jointly, to nominate two members of the Independent Reporting Commission: and the establishment of new measures relating to the financial responsibility of the assembly. 

The motion passes

The motion passes on an oral vote. 

Ministerial Offices (Number and Functions) Determination 2016

The Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) is calling upon members to approve the Ministerial Offices (Number and Functions) Determination 2016.

Ms McCann says the determination "sets out the titles of the eight future departmental ministers and their functions in terms of the departments they will take charge of". 

"This will complete the statutory requirement to fulfil the commitment in the Stormont House Agreement and reaffirmed in the Fresh Start Agreement. The commitment to a reduction in the number of departments to nine in time for the 2016 assembly election", she says. 

'Drive the country in one direction'

The DUP's Paul Frew says it is "a good day" and he supports the motion as the transfer of functions will "lead to better efficiencies". 

He says he hopes the changes will help to "drive the country in one direction as opposed to five different directions". 

The SDLP's Alex Atwood explains that the party have some reservations about the motion. 

Ulster Unionist Andy Allen says the revised departments are "not perfect and represent the biggest challenge in administration here in 17 years". 

Ms McCann says "the establishment of a streamlined nine department system in May will provide opportunity for improving the way we do business". 

The motion passes on an oral vote.

'Some concerns'

Chris Lyttle
BBC

Before giving the reaction of the OFMDFM Committee to the motion, Chris Lyttle of Alliance reacts to the "devastating news" that a prison officer injured in a recent bomb attack in Belfast has died.

He sends his "heartfelt and deepest sympathy" to the prison officer's family" and calls for anyone with information to contact the police.

Speaking as an Alliance MLA, Mr Lyttle says his party supports the transfer of functions but has "some concerns about the extent of consultation that was possible in the timescale given".

He also has some concerns about "key strategies that will cross from one department to another", including childcare strategies. 

Mr Lyttle says he hopes that the new departments will be able to "deliver these strategies as smoothly as possible". 

Departments (Transfer of Functions) Order

Jennifer McCann speaking in the assembly chamber
BBC

Junior Minister Jennifer McCann opens the debate on the Departments (Transfer of Functions) Order.

She explains that the reallocation of functions between the new executive departments requires assembly approval.

The number of departments is being cut from 12 to nine from May this year.

Prison officer injured in bombing dies

Scene of the bomb
Pacemaker

A prison officer injured in a dissident republican bomb attack in east Belfast 11 days ago has died.   

It's understood the 52-year-old father of three was rushed back into hospital this morning.  

More on BBC Newsline on BBC1 Northern Ireland at 13:30 GMT. 

Irish language Academy

On the subject of the Irish language Academy, or GaelAcadamh, the minister says she has accepted all six recommendations delivered by a recent consultation.

These include "a large consensus around the Gealtacht Quarter (of Belfast) as the location".

"The different elements of the academy, including the academic focus on high-quality adult learning and the community focus on economic and social regeneration, and employment will be subject to competitive tendering", Ms Ní Chuilín says.